Ferrari’s 2023 challenger, the SF-23, was recently inspected by the FIA. The new car was revealed a few days ago, on February 14th, in front of a live Tifosi audience at the Fiorano circuit. The SF-23 even did some laps around the circuit to further hype the audience and fans from all across the globe.

Though fans were mostly focused on the visual differences in the livery, technical heads in the sport and the FIA were quick to notice several aspects of the chassis.

Ferrari’s new car had an opening that seemed to have caught the FIA’s eye. Now, teams are known to use S-ducts that allow air to flow through the body, cool the engine, and then come out from the back of the car. The duct is designed to optimize airflow and drastically improve the aerodynamic performance of the car as well.

However, the Prancing Horse’s 2023 car had a slightly different duct, which piqued the FIA’s interest. Hence, they recently requested the Italian team to clarify the slight change in the duct.

We will soon see all the cars, including the SF-23, out on track for pre-season testing in Bahrain. Though teams are allowed to use various kinds of new parts during testing sessions, we might see the Italian team remove or replace the side ducts before the first race of the 2023 F1 season.

F1 technical analysts spot illegal Mercedes front wing on Ferrari SF-23

After Ferrari’s SF-23 was revealed, renowned F1 technical analyst Craig Scarborough was quick to look at all the technical aspects of the car. He pointed out how it had a front wing design that was used by Mercedes back in 2022 and deemed ‘illegal’. The Silver Arrows introduced the new front wing design, which was soon banned by the FIA since it didn’t comply with technical regulations. However, it was recently seen returning on the new SF-23.

Speaking on F1 journalist Peter Windsor’s YouTube channel, Scarborough said:

“On the front of the car is the slot gap separators, the little supports that hold the little bits in between the front wing. Now they’ve copied something that Mercedes brought last year, which were these fin-shaped ones. Ferrari have done them ever so slightly differently. To my understanding, I think these are illegal.”

He further added:

“I think this is a bit of subterfuge, just something to catch people’s eyes and maybe not look at some other little details on the car. That’s quite interesting. Personally, I don’t expect to see those vanes on the car when we get to the first race. They may appear in testing, perhaps, when you’re allowed to do stuff like that, but I think that is just a little bit of fakery going on.”

Scarborough speculated that Ferrari intentionally fitted the controversial front wing to draw attention away from other smaller details that they brought to the car. There is a high chance that the supposedly illegal front wing will not be used by the team when the actual races begin.